2012 Articles

Season Recap

Metamora – The task facing the 2012 Redbird tennis team was a daunting one — the two previous Redbird squads had finished with a remarkable dual record of 43-2 and placed 10th and 15th, respectively, in the state tournaments of 2010 and 2011.  Such remarkable consistency and high achievements could hardly be expected to become the norm, but the 2012 Metamora tennis team rose to the challenge of maintaining those lofty standards, putting together another remarkable campaign filled with exciting memories and amazing accomplishments.  Here are a few of the 2012 squad’s highlights:*  In a year when the Morton tennis team was the finest in its school’s history (the Potters compiled an 18-0 dual record and easily captured the Bloomington Sectional title), Metamora still found a way to win the Mid-Illini Conference.  It was Metamora’s sixth consecutive title and was extra sweet because of the excellence of Morton’s team.  The Redbirds won three of the four flights at the conference tournament to clinch the unprecedented sixth title in a row.  The 2011 Metamora team had become the first in league history to win a fifth straight title; the 2012 team stretched that bar even higher, so that future teams will have a very difficult time in equaling the mark set by the 2007-2012 Metamora teams.*  Sophomore Will Koehrsen won his second consecutive Mid-Illini championship at #1 singles, rolling through the league for the second straight year without dropping so much as a set.  Sophomore Mitchell Nguyen was the conference champ at #2 singles; he has also not lost a singles match in the league through his first two years.  Metamora also won the #1 doubles title for the fourth straight year, as senior Quinn Vaughn and junior Christoph Goettler rolled to the championship.  It was Vaughn’s second straight #1 doubles league title, having won with Nguyen in 2011.

*  Metamora also won its sixth straight sectional crown, capturing the Dunlap Sectional championship with surprising ease.  The Redbirds scored 24 points (second place was 9 points)  Koehrsen won the singles title, defeating his teammate Nguyen in the final.  Vaughn and Goettler won Metamora’s seventh straight sectional doubles title, defeating a very good Richwoods team 7-5 in the third set in the championship match.

*  Metamora’s tennis team won the season-opening indoor event for the third year in a row, beating Moline, Springfield, and Highland Park in a tremendous day of tennis at the start of the season.  The win over Highland Park was particularly impressive, as the Giants finished 6th in the state in 2011.

*  The Redbirds also were champions for the second straight time at the Bloomington Invite (out of 16 teams), where Koehrsen won the #1 singles crown and Nguyen was runner-up at #2 singles.  Vaughn and Goetler were also runners-up at #1 doubles.  The team also had outstanding showings at Edwardsville (3rd of 32) and mini-state (7th of 32).   

*  Metamora ended the season with a 14th place finish at the single-class state tournament.  The Redbirds and Morton (15th) were the only school outside of metropolitan Chicago or St. Louis to finish in the state’s top 20, as Metamora continues to establish itself as the top program in the middle part of Illinois.

*  The Redbirds finished 23-4 in dual matches against some of the state’s best teams.  Metamora lost a traditional 6 singles, 3 doubles match for the first time in 4 years, dropping a 5-4 decision to Morton.  The other three losses were to quality opponents from Downers Grove South (4-1), Rockford Boylan (3-2), and Barrington (3-2).  The matches against Boylan and Barrington both featured Metamora having match point to win the dual, but the Redbirds were unable to win the final point and ultimately suffered defeats in both contests.  Wins over Moline, Quincy, Quincy Notre Dame, Bloomington, Richwoods, Belleville East, Naperville Central, O’Fallon, Lincoln-Way East, Rock Island Alleman, Champaign Centennial, Rockford Guilford, and Highland Park were particularly impressive.  To further illustrate the strength of Metamora’s schedule, it should be noted that the Redbirds lined up in dual matches against six other schools that went on to capture sectional titles.

Individually, the season was quite successful as well.  There were many individual achievements; here are a few.

*  Will Koehrsen won tournament titles at Bloomington, the Mid-Illini tournament, and the Peoria Sectional.  He was also unbeaten at the Red and White Invite.  His singles record of 40-5 set a new MTHS record for singles wins in a season.  He also added to his doubles career record, winning all six times he played doubles to bring his overall mark to 15-0 for his career.  His singles career record is already 78-10, and the school record of 111 singles wins is within sight.  Will finished in the state’s top 32 for the second straight year, earning all-state honorable mention status in singles.  For the second year in a row, he was also named the Peoria Journal Star Tennis Player of the Year.  

*  Quinn Vaughn and Christoph Goettler won the Mid-Illini tournament and the Peoria Sectional in doubles, not dropping a set in either tournament.  Quinn also had a 10-1 singles record on the year.  Christoph’s singles record was 10-0, increasing his career mark to an astonishing 35-0.  Quinn finished 37-9 for the season in doubles, while Christoph tied the all-time school record with a 39-9 mark.  The duo won three matches in the main draw at the state meet, finishing in the top 24 to earn third team all-state status.

*  Mitchell Nguyen won the #2 singles title at the Mid-Illini tournament, helping clinch the program’s 6th straight league title.  He finished 2nd to his teammate in the Dunlap Sectional and won two matches at the state meet to finish in the 49th-64th place group.

*  Caleb Neumann had a breakout year for the Redbirds, compiling a 10-3 singles record to go along with a 23-16 doubles mark.  He and his partner, Tyler Ngo, finished just short of a state doubles berth, losing 7-6, 7-5 in the qualifying round at the sectional.

*  Koehrsen, Nguyen, Vaughn, and Goettler all made the 8-person All-Conference 1st team.

The senior class of 2012 (Quinn Vaughn, Alec Gardner, Jordan Rauh, Alberto Poletto, and Johannes Wolf) was part of four straight Mid-Illini and sectional championship teams.  They made friendships, created memories, and lived stories that will be told and re-told for years.  Many of these memories happened during practice, on overnight trips, or away from the tennis courts.  It is my sincere hope that these gentlemen will remember these times fondly for years and will forever cherish the time they spent in Redbird tennis uniforms.  

The 2012 Metamora tennis team continued to grow the reputation Redbird tennis teams have established throughout the state.  I continue to be extremely proud that Metamora tennis players are known all over Illinois as being fierce competitors but also as being fair, well-behaved young men.

The dedication and work ethic established at Metamora High School over the past decade continued right into 2012.  The young men who participated on this year’s team can be rightly proud of their accomplishments.  I firmly believe the returning players on the 2013 team will continue to exhibit these qualities so as to help continue Metamora’s successful tennis seasons.

Congratulations to the Metamora Redbird tennis team on another fantastic season!!

Successful Summer Trip to Champaign for Redbird Tennis Players 

Champaign (6/30/12) – The Redbirds played a team summer event for the first time this weekend, competing at the beautiful Atkins Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Illinois against three other teams in a 12 singles, 6 doubles format.  The competition was outstanding, and everyone had a good time playing multiple matches.  Here are the Redbird results from the weekend:

vs Gurnee Warren (Redbirds won 12 of 18 matches)

1  Loss (W. Koehrsen) 7-6, 6-0
2  Win (Nguyen)  6-1, 6-2
3  Win (Goettler)  6-4, 6-2
4  Win (Cal. Neumann)  4-6, 6-0, 10-7
5  Win (Doscotch)  6-3, 3-6, 10-2
6  Win (Willard)  6-2, 7-5
7  Win (Costa)  6-3, 6-2
8  Win (F. Koehrsen)  6-3, 6-7, 10-6
9  Win (Becker)  6-4, 6-2
10 Loss (Lewandowski)  6-4, 0-6, 10-5
11 Loss (Doublin)  6-4, 6-1
12 Loss (Cad. Neumann)  6-4, 6-1

1  Win (W. Koehrsen / Goettler)  6-1, 6-1
2  Win (Nguyen / Cal. Neumann)  6-2, 6-1
3  Win (Willard / Doscotch)  7-5, 6-3
4  Loss (Becker / Lewandowski)  6-4, 7-5
5  Win (Costa / F. Koehrsen)  6-0, 6-2
6  Loss (Doublin / Cad. Neumann)  6-3, 6-0

vs Champaign area (Redbirds won 12 of 18 matches)

1  Win (W. Koehrsen)  6-0, 6-2
2  Win (Nguyen)  6-4, 1-6, 10-8
3  Win (Wang)  6-1, 6-1
4  Win (Goettler)  6-7, 6-2, 10-7
5  Loss (Cal. Neumann)  6-0, 6-2
6  Win (Doscotch)  6-4, 6-3
7  Win (Willard)  6-4, 6-0
8  Loss (F. Koehrsen)  6-7, 6-0, 10-7
9  Win (Becker)  6-4, 6-2
10 Win (Lewandowski)  4-6, 6-4, 10-8
11 Win (Doublin)  6-3, 6-1
12 Loss (Cad. Neumann)  3-6, 6-1, 10-4

1  Win (W. Koehrsen / Goettler)  6-2, 6-1
2  Win (Wang / Nguyen)  6-3, 6-4
3  Loss (Willard / Doscotch)  6-4, 6-2
4  Loss (Becker / Cal. Neumann)  6-2, 4-6, 10-5
5  Win (F. Koehrsen / Lewandowski)  6-2, 6-1
6  Loss (Doublin / Cad. Neumann)  7-6, 7-5

vs Edwardsville (Redbirds won 2 of 8 matches – shortened due to weather)

1  Win (W. Koehrsen)  3-6, 6-1, 10-5
2  Win (Wang)  6-1, 6-0
3  Loss (Doscotch)  6-4, 6-4
4  Loss (Willard)  6-1, 6-3

1  Loss (Nguyen / Goettler)  6-4, 6-4
2  Loss (Cal. Neumann / Becker)  4-6, 6-3, 10-5
3  Loss (F. Koehrsen / Lewandowski)  6-1, 6-1
4  Loss (Doublin / Cad. Neumann)  6-3, 4-6, 10-3


Redbirds Will Travel to Champaign June 29-30
Matches vs Edwardsville, Gurnee Warren, and Champaign

Metamora (6/22/12) –
Metamora will take a 12-person team to the Atkins Center on the campus of the University of Illinois June 29-30 to play against teams from Edwardsville, Gurnee Warren, and Champaign.  Metamora will play matches of 12 singles, 6 doubles against each of the other three teams.  It should be an outstanding experience, as the four squads will use all 20 outdoor courts at the Atkins Center Friday afternoon, have a fun evening of activities, and return for more tennis on Saturday.  Those participating in the weekend event for Metamora will be:Will Koehrsen, Mitchell Nguyen, Christoph Goettler, Kevin Wang, Caleb Neumann, Nick Becker, Trevor Lewandowski, Michael Doublin, Ryan Willard, Cade Neumann, Fletcher Koehrsen, and Greyson Doscotch.  Look for results and a recap of the weekend here soon!
Redbirds Finish in State Top 15
Third Year in a Row in Top 15; Three Redbirds All-State

Arlington Heights (5/26/12) – The 2012 Redbird tennis season came to a very successful climax over the weekend, as Metamora finished 14th in the single-class state of Illinois tennis championships.

Junior Christoph Goettler and senior Quinn Vaughn finished in the state’s top 24 doubles teams, earning 3rd team all-state status.  The duo swept through its first day unbeaten, capturing wins over Edwardsville, LaGrange Lyons, and Fremd, all in straight sets.  On day two, the Metamora pair found itself on the short end against the top seed in the tournament, Glenbrook South, before falling in the back draw later in the day to Morton.  Goettler ended the season with 39 doubles wins, tying David Stewart for the all-time school record.

Sophomore Will Koehrsen won three singles matches on the weekend, finishing in the top 32 to earn honorable mention all-state status for the second straight year.  He won routine matches in the first two rounds before embarking on a two-and-a-half hour battle of wills against Peter Tarwid of Lake Forest.  Koehrsen led 3-2 in the final set, but Tarwid summoned some terrific shot-making to close out the long three-set victory.  He went on the finish 6th in the tournament.  On day two, Koehrsen won his first round match handily before running out of steam against Homewood-Flossmoor’s Brad Holt.  Holt finished in the state’s top 12, so Koehrsen’s two losses were very respectable ones.  He finished the season with 40 singles victories, a new school record.

Sophomore Mitchell Nguyen recorded two very nice three-set wins on the first day of the tournament, beating players from Hampshire and Neuqua Valley.  His fourth match of the day, against Austin Aten of Champaign Central, was a 7-5, 7-6 slugfest in which Nguyen was unable to capitalize on 5-3 leads in each set.  Nguyen narrowly missed playing on the second day of the state meet, a very impressive finish to a terrific sophomore season.

Overall, Metamora was 14th in the state, finishing behind 13 large, suburban tennis schools.  Morton finished 15th, showing the incredible strength of the Mid-Illini Conference in 2012.  The only other downstate team in the top 20 was Edwardsville.  The Redbirds can again be very proud of their state tournament showing.  Great work by all!!


Sectional Champs Again for Redbird Tennis Team


Sixth Title in a Row for Metamora

Dunlap (5/19/12) – Metamora entered the 2012 IHSA Dunlap Sectional riding high from the previous week’s Mid-Illini Conference championship, and the Redbirds showed no signs of a letdown, cruising to the program’s sixth straight sectional title.
Will Koehrsen and Mitchell Nguyen, Metamora’s two sophomore singles stars, obliterated the field on their way to a meeting with each other in the championship.  In an extremely well-played final, Koehrsen successfully defended his title from a year ago, defeating Nguyen, 6-3, 6-4.  Both Redbird players can be proud of the high level of play throughout the tournament, and they should both feel confident heading for next week’s state meet.Quinn Vaughn and Christoph Goettler advanced to the title match with little problem, where they encountered Chandler Clayton and Kevin Wang of Richwoods.  In an epic two-hour final, Metamora avenged an early-season loss to the Richwoods pair, squeaking out a 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory for the program’s seventh consecutive sectional doubles title.  Metamora finally closed out the match on their seventh match point in the final game, breaking Clayton for the win.Tyler Ngo and Caleb Neumann also played a good tournament but ran into Washington’s talented combo of Bryan Kinas and Brett Grimes in the quarterfinals.  The Metamora duo played well, extending the Panthers to two long sets.  However, Ngo and Neumann were unable to win enough of the big points, losing 7-6(6), 7-5.The team totals showed dominance by the Redbird group.  Metamora finished with 24 points, while Dunlap and Washington tied for second place with 9.  Richwoods and Notre Dame scored 8 and East Peoria 4.  Limestone, Central, and Manual had 0.Sectional plaques are difficult to come by, and this Redbird group rightfully earned theirs through outstanding play all season.  Congratulations to all on a sixth consecutive title!!   


Redbirds Capture Sixth Straight Mid-Illini Title

Koehrsen, Nguyen, Vaughn, Goettler Win Championships 

Dunlap (5/11/12) – The 2012 Mid-Illini season came to a suspenseful conclusion at Dunlap High School on May 11 as the Redbird tennis successfully won its sixth straight conference championship in dramatic fashion.

Metamora entered the tournament trailing Morton in the conference standings, as the Potters swept through the league with a 6-0 dual match record.  However, Metamora’s success in the tournament was enough to propel the Redbirds to the overall league title.

Sophomore Will Koehrsen won his second consecutive #1 singles championship, rolling through the draw while dropping only four games on the entire day.  He defeated fellow sophomore Grant Reiman from Morton, 6-1, 6-2, in a rematch of last year’s title tilt.  Will’s offensive firepower has grown to match his already outstanding defensive skills to create a combination too difficult for any area player to overcome this year.  He punctuated a second consecutive unbeaten Mid-Illini campaign with the league #1 title.

Sophomore Mitchell Nguyen also won his second straight Mid-Illini championship, capturing the #2 singles title a year after winning the crown at #1 doubles.  He defeated Morton’s Trent Reiman, 6-4, 6-4, in a very dramatic match that wound up being the final match to finish and clinched the conference title for the Redbirds.  His tenacity, consistency, and punishing ground strokes propelled him to a very impressive victory in this incredibly important #2 singles final.

Senior Quinn Vaughn and junior Christoph Goettler won the championship at #1 doubles, giving Vaughn a second straight #1 doubles title.  The duo defeated Jonah Laktas and Wes Crandall of Morton in the final, 6-4, 6-2.  The Redbird pair played a very aggressive brand of doubles and took control of the net during the majority of their championship battle.  The title, against a very formidable opponent, was well-earned.

Sophomore Tyler Ngo and junior Caleb Neumann finished second at #2 doubles, bowing to Morton’s Taylor Nave and Calen Crim in the final, 6-2, 6-1.  Ngo and Neumann rolled through two earlier matches to reach the final, and the points they earned helped propel Metamora to the team title.  They will look to refine their play in the coming days in anticipation of playing a good sectional tournament with the hopes of qualifying for the state meet.

To win a team title in the Mid-Illini, outstanding play is required throughout the line-up.  Metamora’s primary opponent in the tournament, the Morton Potters, featured terrific players up and down their line-up.  Metamora had to play a nearly perfect tournament to defeat Morton, and the Redbirds did just that.

Metamora has now won an unprecedented six straight Mid-Illini Conference championships, and this latest title was certainly earned on the courts through terrific play.  Congratulations, Mid-Illini Champions!!


Metamora Repeats as Bloomington Invite Champs

Bloomington (4/7/12) – The Metamora varsity tennis team captured another tournament championship over the weekend, winning the 16-team Bloomington Invitational for the second straight year.  Metamora piled up 28 points to tie with Normal Community for first place.  Belleville East was third.

At #1 singles, Will Koehrsen defended his title from a year ago in dominating fashion.  The Redbird sophomore breezed to the championship match, where he met a freshman from Champaign Centennial, Max Zheng.  Zheng had defeated Springfield standout Patrick Gaffigan in the semifinals but was no match for Koehrsen, losing 6-3, 6-2.  Will’s arsenal was on full display throughout the finals, as he ran Zheng all over the court during the victory.

Metamora sophomore Mitchell Nguyen played in the #2 singles draw, also advancing to the finals without much opposition.  In the finals, he played a very talented freshman from Champaign Centennial, Sunny Singh.  The first set took well over an hour, and each player had set points, but Singh ultimately prevailed, 7-6 (8).  The second set was also very well-played, and the Centennial frosh would up winning 6-4.  It was a terrific match for Nguyen, whose confidence and game continue to grow rapidly.

Metamora also finished second at #1 doubles, althought the Redbird duo of Christoph Goettler and Quinn Vaughn had a little bit of a sloppy day.  After relatively difficult quarterfinal and semifinal matches, the Metamora pair found itself up against a very sharp Bloomington High School team of Nathan Cavanaugh and Ricky Zamudio.  Metamora’s less than perfect play combined with Bloomington’s excellence led to a 6-2, 6-2 defeat.

At #2 doubles, sophomore Tyler Ngo and junior Caleb Neumann dropped a third set tie-breaker in the quarterfinals to a Danville duo that would up capturing the championship.  The Redbirds won their other three matches on the day, finishing in 5th place.

Metamora’s #3 doubles team of Jordan Rauh and Alec Gardner played valiantly but wound up losing two third set tie-breakers to the top two seeded teams in the tournament.  They won their other match, contributing one point to Metamora’s team score.

Great job by all and congratulations on a tournament title!

Redbirds Perform Well in Edwardsville Invite – 3rd of 32

Edwardsville (3/31/12) – The last weekend in March featured a 32-team dual invitational held throughout the Edwardsville area.  This tournament always highlights tremendous teams, seemingly impossibly nice weather, and exceptional facilities.  This year was no exception.

Metamora began its journey on Friday with a match-up with the Belleville East JV.  Despite being a JV team, the Lancer squad was quite capable, as evidenced by the fact that it went 4-0 after losing to Metamora, including a win over the Belleville West varsity squad.  Metamora’s strength was too much for the East JV, as the Redbirds advanced with a 4-1 victory.

In the round of 16, Metamora played O’Fallon on its home courts.  The first-ever meeting between the two schools was captured by the Redbirds, 5-0.  Will Koehrsen and Mitchell Nguyen played singles throughout the weekend for Metamora, while the doubles teams were Quinn Vaughn and Christoph Goettler, Tyler Ngo and Caleb Neumann, and Jordan Rauh and Alec Gardner.

The serious competition began on day 2, as Metamora played Belleville East at Triad High School.  East returns five state qualifiers from last year and will certainly roll through its sectional this year with ease.  The Redbirds were too powerful at the top of the line-up, however, and cruised to the 3-2 team victory.  Koehrsen, Nguyen, and the duo of Vaughn and Goettler recorded the wins.

The semifinals were held at Edwardsville High School and pitted Metamora against the tournament favorite, Downers Grove South.  DGS returns two singles players who both finished in the state’s top 24 a year ago, a doubles team that was a top 32 seed, and a freshman singles player who will make an immediate impact on their team.  Metamora battled valiantly but was unable to capture the team win, losing 4-1.

Quinn Vaughn and Christoph Goettler were terrific, recording a 7-6, 6-4 win at #1 doubles that was its finest of the year so far.  Will Koehrsen played his best tennis of the year, battling Joey Leto before falling 6-4, 7-5.  Mitchell Nguyen won a set against Leto’s freshman brother Tony before dropping the third set tie-break.  As an indication of the younger Leto’s future, he went on in the championship round to defeat Edwardsville’s Brandon Harris at #1 singles.  Tyler Ngo and Caleb Neumann had the unusual experience of facing a returning top 24 singles player at #2 doubles.  His skill set carried the DGS doubles team to a 6-2, 6-1 win.  At #3 doubles, Jordan Rauh and Alec Gardner played their match of the tournament, getting into a third set tie-break before falling.  Overall, it was an exceptional effort against a very, very talented opponent.

In the 3rd place match, Metamora faced a familiar opponent, Naperville Central.  The Redbirds have met NC each of the three years they have attended the Edwardsville Invite, with Metamora winning in 2010 and Central winning last year.  This time, Metamora’s performance against the Red Hawks was at a very high level.  Koehrsen and Nguyen rolled to impressive singles victories in straight sets.  Goettler and Vaughn played a sloppy second set at #1 doubles but rebounded to win a 10-2 tie-break.  The performance of the match, however, was at #2 doubles, where Tyler Ngo and Caleb Neumann appeared to put it all together in a very convincing 6-1, 6-0 win.  Naperville Central had won at #2 doubles against Edwardsville in the semifinals, so this match by the Metamora duo was incredibly promising.

In the finals, Downers Grove South defeated Edwardsville.  The top 10 finishers are below:

1  Downers Grove South
2  Edwardsville
3  Metamora
4  Naperville Central
5  Normal Community
6  Chatham-Glenwood
7  Belleville East
8  Alton
9  Normal U-High
10 Troy Triad

Overall, the weekend was a great success.  The results were very good, the memories created were better, and the weather was flawless.  Congrats to all!


11th Annual Red & White Invite Features Amazing Finish


Metamora (3/24/12)  Seven quality tennis teams joined Metamora in competing for the 11th Annual Red & White Invitational championship on a terrific March day.  Teams from all over Illinois descended on the Peoria area, including Barrington, Rockford Guilford, and Ottawa from the north, Chatham-Glenwood, Teutopolis, and Champaign Centennial from the east and south, and local entrant Peoria Notre Dame. 

For the first time, the event was conducted as a 2 singles, 3 doubles team event.  Schools played all eight of their players against the same school, with the winning team advancing in the main draw and the losing squad heading for the back draw.

Metamora opened the day with Peoria Notre Dame.  Sophomores Mitchell Nguyen and Tyler Ngo won their respective singles matches handily.  The Redbirds also swept the doubles matches to complete a 5-0 quarterfinal victory.  In the other quarterfinal matches, Rockford Guilford defeated Ottawa, 5-0, Barrington beat Teutopolis, 5-0, and Chatham-Glenwood beat Champaign Centennial, 4-1.

In the semifinals, Metamora played Guilford.  The Vikings are always tough and have won their sectional title 22 times in the last 23 seasons, including last year.  Metamora swept the singles again with sophomore Will Koehrsen and junior Caleb Neumann getting the victories.  Junior Christoph Goettler and senior Quinn Vaughn recorded a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win at #1 doubles over a very nice Guilford duo to clinch the team win.  The Redbirds were defeated at #2 and #3 doubles, so the final team score was 3-2.  In the other semifinal, Barrington beat Chatham-Glenwood, 5-0.

The championship match against Barrington began at 4:30 and lasted until after 7:00, with the quality of play easily being the highest of the day.  Koehrsen rolled through his #1 singles match, winning 6-0, 6-0 against a very nice player.  Nguyen battled a similarly-talented opponent at #2, ultimately prevailing 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in a match that was as much about heart at the end as it was about skill.  Metamora’s #3 doubles team of seniors Jordan Rauh and Alberto Poletto played an outstanding match but was not able to get over the hump, losing 6-4, 6-4.  The #2 duo of Neumann and Ngo also played their best match to date, capturing the first set against a very good opponent.  The Redbird team led 5-4 in the third set but was unable to get to the finish line and lost 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

The match of the tournament, however, occurred at #1 doubles.  Goettler and Vaughn rolled through the first set, winning 6-3.  It looked like they would close the door in the second as they raced to a 4-2 lead.  However, the experienced Barrington team battled its way to a tie-breaker and won it to force a third set.  In the third, Metamora broke serve to take a 5-3 lead and served for the championship.  The Redbirds had one match point but couldn’t quite get it done, ultimately losing 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.  It was one of the more memorable finishes to a tournament that this coach can remember, and it highlighted two truly dynamic doubles teams.  Congratulations to both schools on an incredibly well-played final, and good luck to Barrington for the rest of the season.

In the third place match, Guilford beat Chatham-Glenwood, 5-0.  In the fifth place match, Centennial defeated Ottawa, 4-1.

Terrific weather and outstanding tennis.  Congratulations to all on a very nice tournament.  

Redbirds Open Season With Three Outstanding Wins


Peoria (3/17/12) – Metamora’s tennis team kicked off its 2012 campaign with the annual indoor quad, held at The Clubs at River City.  The day featured unusually warm weather, but the event is traditionally held inside, and this year was no exception.  Moline, Springfield, and Highland Park made the trip to Peoria for a day full of outstanding tennis.

The four teams involved have had much tennis success over the past decade, capturing a combined 25 sectional championships in the last ten years (Moline 9, Metamora 7, Springfield 5, Highland Park 4).  In addition, Highland Park finished 6th at last season’s state tournament.  The level of play on the first day of the year was very high.

In the first round, Metamora battled Moline.  Sophomore Will Koehrsen breezed through his #1 singles match without dropping a game.  Sophomore Mitchell Nguyen and junior Christoph Goettler came back from a 5-2 first-set deficit to win at #1 doubles, 7-5, 6-3 against a duo that won a sectional title and three matches at the state tournament last year.  Senior Quinn Vaughn battled back from losing the first set at #2 singles to win the second set in a tie-break.  He then cruised to a 6-1 win in the third set to clinch the 3-2 win for the Redbirds.  Metamora lost close matches at both #2 and #3 doubles.  It was the fifth consecutive year Metamora has defeated Moline, a program that has won a sectional team championship in 26 of the last 28 seasons.

In round two, the Redbirds defeated Springfield, 3-2.  Nguyen and Goettler won at #1 doubles, 6-0, 6-4.  Sophomore Tyler Ngo and Vaughn rolled through their #2 doubles match, 6-0, 6-1.  Seniors Alec Gardner and Jordan Rauh also won handily at #3 doubles, 6-0, 6-2.  This match featured a highly anticipated battle between Metamora’s Koehrsen and Springfield’s Patrick Gaffigan.  Gaffigan looked tremendous during this early-season tilt, and came away with a well-earned 6-3, 6-2 victory.

In the final round of the day, Metamora played Highland Park.  The Giants always have great depth and terrific players throughout their line-up, but the Redbirds were able to win three matches to defeat HP, 3-2.  Koehrsen rebounded from the previous match to win at #1 singles, 6-0, 6-1.  Nguyen played his first singles match of the year and won 6-1, 6-0.  The best result, however, came at #1 doubles, where Vaughn and Goettler played outstanding doubles in winning 6-3, 6-4.  One of the opponents for HP, Zak Brint, finished 3rd in the state in doubles last year and 2nd two years ago, so this victory was a well-earned one for Vaughn and Goettler.  They were not broken in the entire match and earned the victory with one break in each set.

In the other matches, Highland Park defeated Springfield 4-1 and Moline 4-1.  Moline beat Springfield, 4-1.

The indoor quad is always a terrific way to begin the season.  The matches featured great tennis again in 2012.  We wish the other competitors lots of success throughout the season.


Pre-Season Singles Tournament Kicks Off Season


Peoria (2/26/12) – The 2012 spring tennis season kicked off with the annual pre-season singles tournament for local high school players, held at The Clubs at River City during the weekend of February 24.  As usual, Metamora players were abundant throughout the draw, and many had a very successful tournament.

MTHS sophomore Will Koehrsen breezed through the field, capturing the individual title handily.  His closest match was in the quarterfinals against teammate Mitchell Nguyen, a 6-3, 6-3 slugfest that featured many high-quality points.  In the semis, Will beat Patrick Kuhle, an outstanding player from Decatur, 6-1, 6-1.  He followed up that win with a decisive 6-1, 6-2 triumph over Kevin Wang of Richwoods in the final.  Koehrsen announced with his play that he is prepared to raise his game to another level for his sophomore campaign.

Sophomore Mitchell Nguyen finished 5th in the 48-player field, losing only to Koehrsen.  He won a tough three-set battle with another teammate, senior Quinn Vaughn, before defeating junior teammate Christoph Goettler in the 5th place match.  Goettler advanced to the 5th place match with a very nice three-set win over Pekin’s Derek Rineberg.  In order, the top eight finishers were:  Koehrsen (Metamora), Wang (Richwoods), Kuhle (Decatur St. Teresa), Clayton (Richwoods), Nguyen (Metamora), Goettler (Metamora), Vaughn (Metamora), and Rineberg (Pekin).

Another varsity Redbird who had a good tournament was sophomore Tyler Ngo.  Unfortunately, while leading 7-1 against Dunlap’s Jon Gootee to reach the final 12, Ngo had to retire with a back injury.  However, his level of play throughout the weekend was very promising.  

Caleb Neumann, Jordan Rauh, Alberto Poletto, Alec Gardner, Michael Doublin, and 8th graders Ryan Willard and Brendan Axelson were the other Metamora competitors, with Neumann, Rauh, and Willard all recording multiple victories.

Congratulations to all on an outstanding start to the 2012 season!

Winning Streak

Metamora (2/17/12) – Traditional format (6 singles and 3 doubles) matches have gone well for Metamora in recent years.  Here are the results of the last 35 matches of this type.

Metamora  8,  Ottawa  0
Metamora  6,  Bloomington  3
Metamora  9,  Limestone  0
Metamora  6,  Richwoods  3
Metamora  9,  Washington  0
Metamora  7,  Normal U-High  2
Metamora  9,  Peoria Notre Dame  0
Metamora  6,  Morton  2
Metamora  8,  Pekin  1
Metamora  9,  Quincy  0
Metamora  9,  Dunlap  0
Metamora  9,  East Peoria  0
Metamora  6,  Rockford Guilford  3
Metamora  9,  Peoria Notre Dame  0
Metamora  9,  Morton  0
Metamora  9,  Limestone  0
Metamora  9,  Richwoods  0
Metamora  6,  Gurnee Warren  3
Metamora  9,  East Peoria  0
Metamora  9,  Pekin  0
Metamora  8,  Quincy  1
Metamora  9,  Dunlap  0
Metamora  9,  Bloomington  0
Metamora  9,  Washington  0
Metamora  9,  Morton  0
Metamora  7,  Troy Triad  2
Metamora  9,  Limestone  0
Metamora  6,  Normal U-High  0
Metamora  6,  Peoria Notre Dame  3
Metamora  9,  Richwoods  0
Metamora  9,  East Peoria  0
Metamora  9,  Pekin  0
Metamora  9,  Washington  0
Metamora  6,  Dunlap  3
Metamora  8,  LaSalle-Peru  1

During the same time period, the Redbirds are 21-2 in shortened format matches (2 singles and 3 doubles or 3 singles and 3 doubles).  

2012 Mid-Illini Boys Tennis Preview


Metamora (11/1/11) – The 2012 Mid-Illini boys tennis race should be an extremely competitive one.  Metamora has captured the last five Mid-Illini titles, the longest run of any school in league history.  However, the Potters from Morton will feature the best tennis team from Tazewell County in a very long time and will pose a significant threat to the Redbirds’ record run.

Metamora has completed perfect seasons in the Mid-Illini for the last three seasons, with the closest match during that time frame coming in the first dual of 2009, a 6-3 win at Dunlap.  Since that victory, the Redbirds have won 149 out of 152 singles and doubles matches during league duals.

Last year, the Mid-Illini experienced a youth movement, as six of the eight members of the All-Conference first team were either freshmen or sophomores.  The league’s singles championship match was contested between two freshmen (Metamora’s Will Koehrsen and Morton’s Grant Reiman), and the conference’s doubles championship team also featured a freshman (Metamora’s Mitchell Nguyen).  Fifteen Mid-Illini players qualified for last year’s state meet, and an astonishing twelve of those return to the courts for 2012.  

Metamora and Morton were both sectional champions in 2011 (Metamora’s fifth consecutive crown), giving the Mid-Illini an eleventh straight year of its members claiming at least one sectional plaque.  The Redbirds have finished 10th and 15th in the last two state meets, becoming the only school outside of metropolitan Chicago or St. Louis to crack the top 20 in either year.

It has now been 18 years since any Mid-Illini team other than Morton or Dunlap defeated Metamora.

(Metamora has been unranked)  
Predicted M-I Finish Last Year’s Result Last Ten Years
Metamora  (Kelly Willard – 15th year)
22-1 (1st)
1.  Morton  (Joal Stanfield – 8th)
15-3 (2nd)
2.  Pekin  (Bill Toel – 2nd)
9-5 (3rd)
3.  Dunlap (Pat Gornik – 1st)
6-10 (5th)
4.  Washington (Dave Krostal – 12th)
7-6 (4th)
5.  East Peoria  (Shane Smith – 11th)
5-6 (6th)
6.  Limestone  (Bill Wallinger – 4th)
4-12 (7th)


Coached By:


  • Joal Stanfield (8th year – record of 77-30)

Long Gone
  • None.  
Returning for More:
  • Grant Reiman – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2011), sectional doubles runner-up (2011).
  • Trent Reiman – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles runner-up (#2 – 2011), sectional doubles runner-up (2011).
  • Taylor Nave – all-conference, two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2011).
  • Wes Crandall – 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2011).
  • Jonah Laktas – 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (#2 – 2011).
  • Calen Crim – 2nd team all-conference, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2011).
  • Ben Maurer.

Important Newcomers: 

  • Chandler Stimpert.
Potter Outlook:

Morton returned to life in 2011 following a dismal 2010 season.  The ’11 Potters  posted a dual record of 15-3 and won the Bloomington Sectional for the 7th time in the last 8 years, qualifying five young men for the state tournament; all five of those players return for 8th year boss Joal Stanfield.

The Potters will look to unseat Metamora from its perch atop the Mid-Illini Conference.  Maintaining their lock on a sectional championship should come fairly easily for this group, and improving on the two points scored at the 2011 state meet will likely be a focus for this very talented team.

Interesting Facts:
  • Morton has finished 1st or 2nd in the Mid-Illini Conference in 16 of the last 17 seasons.  Only in 2010 (4th) did Morton finish outside the league’s top two.
  • Morton’s Taylor Nave has qualified for the state meet in each of his first two varsity seasons but has posted a state tournament record of 0-4.
  • Morton singles players won the Mid-Illini Conference singles championship six years in a row from 2004-2009 (Jordan Nestrud twice and Brock Reiman four times).


Coached By:


  • TBA (1st year – record of 0-0)

Long Gone

  • Sam Park, Taylor Jensen, Ricky Barrack, Evan Fasnacht. 
Returning for More:
  • Jonathan Gootee, John Collins, Greyson Keenan, Nathan Garrison. 
Eagle Outlook:
After years of having successful tennis teams, Dunlap is mired in a slump.  The Eagles finished 6-10 in 2011 and 8-12 in 2010, marking the school’s first two losing boys tennis seasons in history.  Dunlap returns seniorJonathan Gootee at the #1 position, but he will have to compete against terrific opponents almost every time he steps onto the courts in the Mid-Illini.  Three other players return from last year’s top six, but Dunlap will have to show major improvement to return to the league’s top three in 2012.
Interesting Facts
  • Prior to 2010, Dunlap had never lost to any Mid-Illini opponent other than Metamora or Morton.  In the last two seasons, the Eagles have been defeated by Pekin (twice) and Washington (once).
  • The Eagles have not qualified any players for the state tournament in the last two years.  Prior to those seasons, Dunlap had qualified players for state every year since joining the league in 1999.
  • In the last two years, Dunlap has won a total of 12 games in 12 singles matches against Metamora.


Coached By:


  • Dave Krostal (12th year – record of 59-98)

Long Gone:  

  • Kris Swank. 
Returning for More:
  • Bryan Kinas  2nd team all-conference, all-conference (2010).
  • Dan Nulty – 2nd team all-conference.
  • Brett Grimes, Kody Dexheimer, Brad Strickler.
Panther Outlook:
The Panthers are poised to have their most successful tennis season in many years, as they return five of their top six players from 2011.  JuniorBryan Kinas, a 1st team all-conference performer as a freshman and 2nd teamer last year, will head the Washington line-up for the third straight year.  He will be joined by Brett Grimes (jr), Dan Nulty (sr), and Kody Dexheimer (sr) to form a solid core of tennis players near the top of the line-up.
Interesting Facts:
  • Washington defeated Dunlap for the first time in school history in 2011.  The Panthers are now 1-79 against Metamora, Morton, and Dunlap since 1994.
  • Washington won the first ever Mid-Illini Conference boys tennis title in 1987.  Since that time, the Panthers have not won a conference championship in boys tennis.


Coached By:


  • Shane Smith (11th year – record of 42-78)

Long Gone:  

  • Ross Johnson – state qualifier.
  • Joe Warren. 
Returning for More:
  • Aaron Kurth – state qualifier.
  • Jacob Ellis, Jared Kahl, James Newlan. 
Raider Outlook:
East Peoria qualified a surprise doubles team for the state meet in 2011, the school’s first state qualifiers in four years.  Aaron Kurth (sr) returns from that doubles team, but EP’s top two singles players graduated, leaving holes that will need to be filled by underclassmen for the Raiders to progress in 2012.
Interesting Facts:
  • EP boss Shane Smith is one of three Mid-Illini head coaches working at their alma maters.  Metamora’s Kelly Willard and Morton’s Joal Stanfield are also graduates of their current employers.
  • East Peoria’s 3-3 league record in 2006 was the only time in the last 17 years that the Raiders have won at least half of their conference matches.


Coached By:


  • Bill Toel (2nd year – record of 9-5)

Long Gone:  

  • Erik Smith – two-time state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (2010), sectional doubles runner-up (2010), 2nd team all-conference. 

Returning for More:

  • Derek Rineberg – two-time all-conference, two-time state qualifier, sectional singles champion (2011), Mid-Illini singles runner-up (2010).
  • Brandon Parker, Timmy Latronico, Cole Pyatt, Ben Stuff.

Dragon Outlook:
Pekin has put together two consecutive good seasons, finishing 10-1 in 2010 and 9-5 last year.  Two Dragons qualified for the state meet in singles last year, and one of those (junior Derek Rineberg) returns to the courts in 2012.  Pekin only graduated one member of its 2011 top six, so the outlook remains positive for the Dragons for the spring of 2012.  Battling the league’s top two (Metamora and Morton) might be difficult, but Pekin should be at the top of the rest of the league.  The dual match with Washington should be the most competitive one in the league for the Dragons.

Interesting Facts: 

  • Derek Rineberg’s sectional title in singles showed the strength of the Mid-Illini Conference.  Rineberg finished third in the Mid-Illini at #1 singles, behind Metamora’s Will Koehrsen and Morton’s Grant Reiman.
  • Erik Smith, a senior last year, graduated Pekin High as one of the best singles players in league history to never earn first team all-conference.


Coached By:


  • Bill Wallinger (4th year – record of 10-32)

Long Gone:  

  • Jordan Adams, Jacob Fletcher.

Returning for More:

  • Tyler Leuallen, Michael Rendleman, Drew Hillman, Joe Schweickert.

 Rocket Outlook:   
 Limestone will try to climb out of the Mid-Illini basement on the strength of four returning varsity players.  The Rockets are 1-49 in Mid-Illini matches over the last seven years and will find it difficult to locate a winnable conference match in 2012.

Interesting Facts: 

  • Despite its struggles within the league, the Rockets are 23-26 over the last seven years in non-conference matches.
  • Limestone last finished above .500 in 2002, when the Rockets were 7-6 overall, 4-6 in the Mid-Illini Conference.
  • Limestone has never defeated Metamora, Morton, or Dunlap.


Coached By:


  • Kelly Willard (15th year – record of 189-42)

Long Gone 

  • Petr Vesely – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (#2 – 2011).
  • David Schrader, Jason Rainville, Jake Martin.

Returning for More:   

  • Will Koehrsen – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini singles champion (2011), sectional singles champion (2011), honorable mention all-state (singles – 2011), Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year – 2011.
  • Quinn Vaughn – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2011), sectional doubles champion (2011).
  • Mitchell Nguyen – all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles champion (2011), sectional doubles champion (2011).
  • Christoph Goettler – 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (#2 – 2011), sectional doubles runner-up (2011).
  • Tyler Ngo – 2nd team all-conference, state qualifier, Mid-Illini doubles runner-up (#2 – 2011), sectional doubles runner-up (2011).
  • Caleb Neumann, Alec Gardner, Jordan Rauh.

Redbird Outlook: 
 Metamora had six new players in its line-up in 2011 and responded by compiling a 22-1 dual match record and its 5th straight league and sectional titles.  Five of Metamora’s six state qualifiers return in 2012, so the Redbirds will continue to be very strong.  Competition with Morton will be severe, as the Potters and Redbirds may again have two of the best teams between Chicago and St. Louis.

Peoria Journal Star Player of the Year Will Koehrsen (so) heads a deep and talented Redbird line-up.  Returning conference and sectional doubles champsQuinn Vaughn (sr) and Mitchell Nguyen (so) and sectional runners-upChristoph Goettler (jr) and Tyler Ngo (so) are also back for the Redbirds.
 Interesting Facts:

  • Metamora has recorded three straight unbeaten Mid-Illini dual seasons.  Since Dunlap joined the league in 1999, no other school has ever had as many as two in a row.
  • Redbird doubles players have won 8 of the last 10 Mid-Illini doubles titles (#1 in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and #2 in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010).
  • The Redbirds have won 6 straight sectional doubles titles.
  • Metamora swept sectional titles (team, singles, doubles) for the first two times ever in 2010 and 2011.  The Redbirds scored 34 points (36 is perfect) both years.